Death is the natural conclusion to life. Sometimes it’s expected. Other times it comes as a complete shock. Recently, one of my clients reported matter-of-factly to me that he had heard on good authority that websites were dead. To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, “the report of the World Wide Web’s death is an exaggeration.” A big one.
Don’t turn off your web server!
The World Wide Web – and by extension, your website – isn’t dead. Not even close. In fact, your web server is likely to be a key player in your marketing strategy for the foreseeable future. Here’s why.
Your customers want to meet you on the Web.
The Web has dealt a serious hit to the notion of “business hours.” Customers want to connect with you, but thanks to the Internet, that connection may never involve a personal visit to a physical place. Your business needs to be able to connect with customers when they’re ready to connect with you, even at 3:00 AM. Your website can be a brilliant stand-in for your business, provided that it’s designed well and delivers what your customers want.
Your website extends your market.
Before the Internet, customers couldn’t always find a local retailer that sold what they were looking for. Customers had to do a lot of settling. At the same time, retailers couldn’t carry niche products because their local customer base never demonstrated enough demand for that one weird little thing. You may never increase local demand for a product or service, but with the Internet, you can aggregate demand and serve customers wherever they are.
Location, location, location.
Your website doesn’t just serve far-flung customers, or people who are trolling the Internet at 3:00 AM. Your local customers – the ones you see every day – visit your website a lot. They want to do product research, compare prices, and check your inventory. They want to know that you have what they’re looking for on the shelf before they leave the house. They want to know how much something costs, and how long it will take to get it. Adding functions like online ordering with in-store pickup, inventory checks and reservations can really increase your web traffic, your foot traffic and your conversion rates.
Your website serves multiple functions.
Customers want to interact with your business, and your website allows them to do that. Today’s consumer often takes a hybrid approach to just about everything. The Web serves as a library, a shopping mall, a telephone directory, a communications tool, a wayfinding aid, an entertainment venue, a content provider and more. The Web hasn’t eliminated demand for these services; if anything, it’s increased access to them. Consumers depend more upon the Web for these services than ever before and that won’t change soon.
If you’d like more information about how you can use your website to meet your customers needs, please contact us at (509) 851-8447 or fill out a contact request form. We’ll be happy to show you how to use your website to connect with your target markets.